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Break Out google.co.uk, google.in, and google.ru as Separate Organic Sources

Organic Sourcesview at full size

Google Analytics does not capture country-specific search engines as organic sources by default.

Surprising as it may be, visitors who have clicked through from any version of the Google search engine with a country-specific top-level domain, such as google.nl, google.es, or google.se, appear in the Organic Search Traffic report with plain old google.com as the source.


To record these search engine versions as separate sources, you can add them to the organic “match list” in Google Analytics by including the following method call in your Google Analytics tracking code (with a separate line for each country and search engne as needed):

_gaq.push(['_addOrganic', 'google.com.hk', 'q', true]);

_gaq.push(['_addOrganic', 'fr.search.yahoo.com', 'p', true]);


The ‘q’ or ‘p’ parameter represents the search phrase that user entered. You do not have to do any further configuration for this; Google Analytics reads it from the URL of the SERP (search engine results page), so just check the SERP and specify whichever parameter precedes the search phrase in the URL. For example, a search for “polar bears” in google.ca would appear in the SERP’s URL as q=polar+bears.


More noteworthy in this case is the final parameter: when specied as true, Google Analytics prepends this version of the search engine to the organic match list.


If the prepend parameter is false or omitted, the search engine is added to the bottom of the list, which defeats the purpose in this case, because a visit from google.de would still match google.com in the list first, and Google Analytics would look no further for an organic source match.


Big thanks to Brian Clifton for highlighting this important technique.

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